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Clayton woman charged with embezzling from HOAs

Posted December 13, 2016

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— Police on Tuesday arrested the owner of a homeowners association management company suspected of stealing as much as $800,000 from dozens of area HOAs.

Diana Ellis Kelly, 54, of Clayton, has been indicted on 25 counts of embezzlement and was released from the Wake County jail after posting a $500,000 bond.

Twenty-five HOAs from across the Triangle filed complaints this summer with the Garner Police Department or the Consumer Protection Division of the state Attorney General’s Office after accounts were found drained and checks started bouncing. Accounts for all of the HOAs were, at some point, maintained by Kornerstone Community Management in Garner, which Kelly owned and operated.

Kornerstone shut down in August.

Police searched the company's offices and Kelly's home, seizing boxes of financial records, which financial crimes experts from the State Bureau of Investigation combed through before the case was presented to a Wake County grand jury this week.

5 Comments

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  • Mike Welsch Dec 18, 2:16 p.m.
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    I think that "Big Berta" is just gonna LOVE her being behind bars with her.

  • Charles Boyer Dec 14, 8:10 a.m.
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    Betsey Duggins is absolutely correct: HOA agents should be required to be licensed and bonded That's not government overreach, it's simple common sense.

  • Betsey Duggins Dec 14, 6:34 a.m.
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    All agents should be licenced and bonded. It is up to the board to ensure this is mandatory. If they have a good master policy, they can recover at least some of the theft. If she is proven guilty, the court should force seizure of all her assets and sell it all to recoup lost money and attorneys fees. In the state of NC, there is very little oversight in regards to any legislation. She knew what she was doing by playing a shell game with all the different funds.

  • Linda Tally Dec 14, 1:44 a.m.
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    She's not the only management company owner to pull this - there's at least one more in Durham County.

  • Alfred Barnes Dec 13, 8:10 p.m.
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    Jail is too good for her.